Background: Prescription medication costs increase financial burden, often leading individuals to engage in intentional nonadherence. Little is known about what specific medication cost-coping strategies individuals with arthritis employ.
Purpose: The purposes of this study are (1) to identify characteristics of individuals with arthritis who self-report prescription medication cost-coping strategies and (2) to examine the association between medication cost-coping strategies and health status.
Methods: Seven hundred twenty-nine people self-reporting arthritis and prescription medication use completed a telephone survey. Adjusted regression models examined medication cost-coping strategies and five health status outcomes.
Results: Participants reported engaging in cost-coping strategies due to medication costs. Those borrowing money had worse psychosocial health and greater disability; those with increasing credit card debt reported worse physical functioning, self-rated health, and greater helplessness. Medication underuse was associated with worse psychosocial health, greater disability, and depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: Individuals with arthritis use multiple strategies to cope with medication costs, and these strategies are associated with adverse physical and psychosocial health status.